Mahindra XUV5OO: "The Dark Knight" Buying & Ownership Experience [65K Kms Crossed]


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Yes 3 hrs now that I joined the forum and I am beginning to type my first thread on the ownership review side. Moderators and viewers please bear with my learning curve on the forum and be kind with the rookie[;)]

My Car Hunt :-

I have had an Honda Civic now for well over an year and half ( preowned and trouble free) - always brings a smile about when u use the accelerator pedal and gobble miles after miles of troublefree ownership. Its a gem of a petrol engine(once u get over the initial rpms, i dont have a tuned ecu yet ). I blindly recommend honda cars for anyone looking for a petrol car. Bulletproof and hasslefree ownership really. Yes there are issues with spare costs and availability recently but doh!! i love revving a civic!!
But Alas its petrol and i do over 2000Kms monthly.. I suddenly realised i could save a lot of money running diesel [frustration]. Also the other bigger reason was i do usually a weekly errand to my farm which involves some offroading( not hard core but over rice fields if you know what i mean ). Everytime i used to put the civic through this my heart would break , even have a nice dent on the right side bottom but tht was my mistake. So yes i continued offroading my civic for some time till the pain of putting the civic through it was unbearable. so decided i needed a diesel SUV especially for my weekend runs.

So i started the lookout, my initial shortlist :-
1) Fortuner
2) Tata Aria

Why ? I wanted 3 rows of front facing seats ( even if the third row is only for kids) , sufficient ground clearance for minor offroad ventures, long distance comfort when driving.

Fortuner was like a family favourite and i still love it and aspire to have it some day, but the current interiors are put off at the current prices and shockingly no disc brakes all around. Its low on equipment for the price, but still a gem of a suv!!

Then i started studying the aria, and it seemed to tick all the boxes initially. Took a couple of test drives including putting it through real offroading and i found the aria surprisingly good to handle and i must say it has the best suspension among indian made vehicles that i have driven. i tortured it in the test drive hoping i wont like it and go for the fortuner , but it continued to surprise me. Again lot of us will say its just an AWD and not genuine 4x4 but my requirement is not a genuine 4x4 but something with reasonable ground clearance and minor offroading capabilities. So Aria was growing on me barr the price cause i always prefer the top end model be it whatever i go with. Its priced at a close distance to the fortuner and that was making me think hard.
I found its ride much better than fortuner , better equipment too but then its a new vehicle from tata and we all know what risks that comes with( i still own a tata sumo ). So heart said fortuner, but mind said Aria. Also to add i had a deadline of buying the vehicle by Nov end as in Dec I am planning a long drive down south.Also Budget not northwards of 22L.

At the same time markets had a lot of rumours on the merlin and XUV launch with a prototype picture every day. Since I had some time till Nov i decided to wait and watch for a few months. In my head though if the Merlin is based on Aria platform and will be true 4x4 with 3 front facing rows and priced moderately it might be perfectttt!!

Then came the XUV launch and more than anything else lets admit the price blew us all. Such was the price shocker to me that i am still thinking the person who probably guessed the price right had no idea about an SUV segment and just put a number for the sake of it.
I stay quite close to West Inn in Pune where the Anand M launched the XUV and immediately drove down hoping i can spot one in flesh. but no luck, mahindra had the cars in complete secrecy right up till launch barring a prototype pic which was really close.
By then i had been reading all the internet reviews and rumours about the XUV and that made the mind change away from the Aria to the XUV 500 oops 5OO.
At that price and with my requirements - i couldnt think of anyother vehicle which is so much VFM.
I went up to the only Pune dealer for XUV and paid the booking amnt!! I knew there would be a waiting period of a month atleast and was planning to cancel the booking in case of any bad reviews. Surprise Surprise everyone was saying only good things abt XUV - it was too good to be true and at that price it flummoxed me and probably lot others. I was suspicious of all electronic gizmos but knowing mahindra knew they would get the mechanicals right - its really a proven engine uptuned with a VGT. So mechanically i was at peace of mind. And also it saves me a lot of moolah for the next ( yes i have some plans already)

Dealership Experience :-

On the day i booked the car it was all smilies, but a week later it turned out horrible. The dealer simply does not respond to ur calls and not even confirms if my booking has gone officially to Mahindra!!I booked the vehicle on the 30th Sept and after 15 days had no replies or indications from this dealer. After some chasing i realised the booking had indeed gone in to the system but i had booked a W8 AWD and the waiting period was till Feb 2012!! I was very clear from the beginning , i cant wait a day later than Nov end.
After some escalations with the Mahindra Regional Manager and hard talk at the dealership , I decided to change my booking with W8 FWD. This was done only after the Mahindra RM assured me of a faster delivery. At this point i must say he mahindra regional manager was really helpful and did all he could to make my experience better while the dealer was doing all he could to make it worse. After the initial experience i had no trust for the dealer and kept my thread opened directly on the mahindra side. The regional manager managed to reserve a W8 FWD for me by the beggining of Nov and there started my tryst with the Black beauty - yes i bought a black XUV 5OO!! I picked up the chassis and engine number directly from Mahindra as i knew the dealership would play all kinds of games. i had made it clear to the dealer I would be registering outside of Pune and would be buying my own insurance and by that time they knew i was a informed customer. They tried to play all kinds of games including not letting me register my vehicle outside Pune and threatening me a few times that my vehicle will get alloted to others who agree. I played it cool and dealt direclty with Mahindra and that worked really well. I must again say for the XUV Mahindra has pulled out all plugs in ensuring the customer is the king and the dealers who are used to selling tractors and logans should not mess up with customer experience.

By this time i was only interacting with the Mahindra honchos and preferred not to deal with the dealer at all. I went all the way up to the Customer Care Head to reiterate my message that as a customer i reserve the right of where i register my car and from whom i buy the insurance!! Again fantastic response from Mahindra which completely overshadowed the flimsy experience with the dealership.
So the day came and i was told my car is ready subject to full payment - as being the usual myself i said no payment until i do a full pre registration inspection. After some yes and no's made the dealer agreed to it and then did a full comprehensive check prior to temporary registration.

I made the full payment subsequently and agreed on a delivery date. In the midst got told that my ordered accessories were not available and will take another 20 days even though i have paid for it upfront. Thought it might be another dealer created issue but turned out to be a genuine supply chain issue with Mahindra - i got promised the accessories will be delivered in 15 days. As i write this , I am still awaiting the accessory - its been some 12 odd days now.

So the D-day came and instead of the usual showroom delivery i had to take it from the stockyard as mine was temp registration ( it was just an excuse but i didnt care ). Even though the car was delivered to me in a washed condition and reasonably spic and span i decided Mahidnra ought to give me a nice polished one so called up Mahindra and told them I need to get it done and as usual Mahindra said yes - please get it to the dealer workshop :). I immediately drove down to the dealer workshop and got a nice cleaning and paint care job done. At this point i felt Mahindra is leaving no stone unturned to ensure its XUV customer happy. Really Kudos to them - i am planning to ask them for a free gift - may be one of their moto gp bikes ehh :P. cause so far they told me a yes for everything and rightly so i think!! They also updated the navigation and ECU.

So out comes my new Black Shiny XUV 5OO out of workshop after a full day spent on delivery - yes i had the patience!!
First Impressions - its much more smoother than the test drive vehicle which i drove for probably 3 mins 56 seconds ( because of the queue for XUV test drives ) and its gets better - all electronics behave fine - which was really my only worry!!

More to follow in next posts...
 
Thread Starter #2
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Re: XUV 5OO Buying and Initial Ownership Experience

The Initial Driving Experience :-

After the usual Indian rituals of taking the vehicle to the temple and performing 'a thank you God for the world so sweet' - i decided to try out all the features!!

We decided to go the next day to our farm which involves also a drive via the mumbai pune express way.I am listing some of the experiences i felt below :-

Mechanical Stuff :- The engine is super and very responsive even at low revs - the turbo lag is hardly felt ( only if you think in super slow motion you can feel a turbo lag ) , unlike the Aria which really breathes only after 1600rpm. I loved the gearing though i found the 1st and second a bit notchy, but once the engine was warmed up it wasnt bad really. All other gear shifts were super smooth. The clutch feels slightly longer but probably thats more because i drive a civic otherwise. Also I felt the vehicle jumps in the second and third gears, so i realised i need to smoother than what i am used to with a civic. Gear and clutch setup is different in different cars and it takes a little driving to get used to. By no means i am saying they were bad, its just that they are different. it really doesnt feel like a diesel the engine is happy to be revved and the pick up is just as good as i would expect normally - no sluggish diesel behavior!! Offcourse its running period and i aint revving it hard and testing its limits. The engine is surprisingly silent and the NVH i wud put best in class in this segment - probably the fortuner felt a bit more noisy than this or is it just me. The steering is super smooth and light - though i felt compared to the civic it requires half a turn more. But what was shocking was the turning circle. You got to the experience the turning circle. I found it even better than the civic which i really wasnt expecting for an SUV of this size - ok may be an exaggeration but its really segment topping. I found the brakes adequate too but then comparing to the civic i found the civic better. But the civic is really tuned to my needs and the XUV is not , so i am certain this is more of my feel of the brakes and the set up. But overall the brakes are good enough but only time will tell as i have put the car to its limit or braked hard. The suspension is good and definately better than fortuner , but i found the Aria has better ride quality than XUV. There is no feel of rolling which u feel the moment u enter the Xylo :). 100 kmph in 6th gear and under 1800rpm was a nice surprise - is the engine even running ?

Electronics :- Let me start with the cruise control - works like a breeze and its such a pleasure to use in the expressway - i never exceeeded 100 kmph on the express way in 6th gear - so being safe and taking care of the cheetah baby during its running in period. So what was the mileage shown after a 90 km run only 24. 8kmpl. I was shocked but really i dont want to beleive this at the moment as i need to be doing the traditional full tank to full tank test. Hey but thats not bad even if the fuel gauge is wrong by a few kmpls really and that too for a car which hasnt done its running in yet !! But really this was more downhill driving in a expressway at a leisurely pace, so ill wait for some more time before i go gaga on its fuel efficiency. All the other electronics worked fine in the car and i did try hill descent ascent etc. I am not a big audio buff when it comes to in car entertainment - i have a bose at home and for pleasure listening i prefer that really. But the set up in XUV is decent and does all it says in the manual. Nothing special to comment about except that everything works as intended so far. But i seemed to have spotted something all the reviews so far have missed - i couldnt find a direct way of keeping the infotainment running but keep the radio/dvd off. the only way is by the mute button which really pauses the system when in dvd mode or mutes it when in radio mode. Thankfully muting this does not affect GPS navigation - you can hear GPS navigation. I have asked the Mahindra RM if there is not a simple way of putting the audio system off while keeping the rest of the infotainment system on ? There has to be something here or am i am just being stupid :)
The navigation also works fine and no problems in getting a gps lock immediately - no issues whatsoever!! Rear sensors work fine and i am not bothering with a reverse camera. The interior red lights are groovy and a nice touch - Disco station ehh!! Blue tooth and voice control works fine, especially when i try a fake UK accent on it :). Start stop works as the manual says. The sensor based lights work fine havent tested the automatic wipers yet.


Space/ Ergonomics :- The XUV 5OO is a comfortable 5 seater with a lot of boot space. The third row is really for short people and kids. 6 footers dont even think. But the second row makes up for more than enough leg room and comfort. Kids enjoy the third row and when folded down and cushioned they can even sleep on it!! Yes i am safety conscious but this is a practical reality. You can only get in to the third row from the left side of the second row. The third rows folds well and makes it a nearly flat space for luggage. I have ordered for the roof carrier as i think it will be handy with the long trip planned shortly. In term of seating ergonomics no complaint as such but the thigh support could be marginally better as compared to the sofa/louger in the safari second row. The driver handrest position could be slightly higher but most of the other stuff are there where they need to be. I found the light and wiper stalks a bit flimsy from the look but only time will tell how they last. also u cant open just the boot from the driver side - though it can be done using the remote key.
The boot lock can be opening from a little pulley provided in the boot door internally for emergencies. Also the fuel hatch can be opened manually using an internal hatch if the electronics goes kaput. So i think Mahindra knows its strengths well :). The AC is absolutely chiller and i found it much better than my civic - it chills in no time and the climate controls work fine. The AC effect is great in all rows. The infortainment provides nice visuals too. The interior quality can be better at places but those are already well reported everywhere ( like the holder above the chiller ). For the price I wouldnt complain!! There is no boot space if you keep the third rows up, ohh may be you can keep a comb ? Ohh well a laptop bag might fit.


Minor Offroad Tryst :-

I was very worried initally with taking a new vehicle through rice field bunds, but the vehicle has more than enough ground clearance to manage and the FWD didnt cause any problems driving through grass 8 feet tall.
I was initially apprehensive with the approach angle but it served me more than easily. I just had to be careful as i thought the plastic mud flaps wud hit the ground but they didnt. All in all no problems here too.
Next time ill try to get a pic of what i mean by this minor offroad tryst, but really its no comparison to hard core offroading.


Some general Notes :-

1) Side Mirrors fold in automatically on locking the car.
2) The beeps work differently when u lock a car with any door left slightly open - serves as a good alert.
3) Looks of the vehicle is really subjective , as i have seen both extreme reactions - i find it nice , though i must say a Aria looks more royal and this one looks more rugged.
4) Driver window is one touch down but not up. Other windows dont have one touch function.
5) The steering adjustment doesnt have a large range but serves ok for the range i need.
6) The projector headlamps work fine and work well on turns.
7) Rear view mirror inside isnt that great with limited visibility. But the external mirrors have a large range - more than adequate.
8) Lots of cubby holes inside, but the glove compartment is smaller than what you would expect.
9) There is a gear indicator which tells u which gear you are in - useful for 'people who dont feel the car'
10) with the automatic light on from the stalk u cant go the upper - it stays in dipper - doesnt matter really as at night team u will switch the stalks to the regular position.


Ok a rather long post and i am sure i havent covered all aspects yet, so please feel free to shoot questions and ask me to add items i might have missed. I havent driven much yet so you will need to also give me the oppurtunity to build on this as i munch on more miles. Some pictures will follow shortly and more after this weekend. Please note my experience with the car is still very limited, however i will try to do an honest and rational write up going ahead.

Also to add some niggles which i mentioned in general XUV 5OO thread :-

My little share of niggles as following :-
1) At the cold start i find the 1st and 2nd gear slightly notchy however once the engine warms up, its pretty smooth - this is with the synthetic oil ( btw i have a Civic too so u know what i am comparing to )

2) Tyre electronics gave an error once - stopped and restarted - seems to have sorted itself - but something to keep an eye.

3) Perimetric alarms have gone off on itself 3-4 times but stops on its own - again need to keep an eye if there is a particular trend when this happens.

4) Had some creaking noise from the rear door, but mahindra have fixed it - heard in some forums it might be the actuator - but a mechanic told me its a loose wire.

I can live with the above as i decided to book a fairly untested car in the market ( untested in the hands of the owners ) . in any case the mahindra RM is aware of the niggles and doing his best to help. I am sure those will be sorted.

Thanks for Reading[cheers]
 
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re: Mahindra XUV5OO: "The Dark Knight" Buying and Initial Ownership Experience

Congrats Iron Rock on your XUV500 buy, certainly black is its best colour, enjoy your ride for many more years to come.And post some pics ASAP.
 
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re: Mahindra XUV5OO: "The Dark Knight" Buying and Initial Ownership Experience

Iron Rock Nice writeup - almost all points covered, first XUV 5OO ownership review on TAI [:)] Can you just tell us detail costing?
When I had a visit to the showroom after launch there was a Black XUV with accessories fitted.
Check this out http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/f...-impressions-pg-29-onwards-34.html#post104388
Which accessories have you taken ?
 

raj_5004

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Re: XUV 5OO Buying and Initial Ownership Experience

HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS!

yours is the first XUV5OO ownership review in this forum. Special thanks for that.

I would have certain queries as I am a prospect XUV5OO buyer, so please be patient with me. [:)]

Dealership Experience :-

At this point i must say he mahindra regional manager was really helpful and did all he could to make my experience better while the dealer was doing all he could to make it worse.

The regional manager managed to reserve a W8 FWD for me by the beggining of Nov and there started my tryst with the Black beauty - yes i bought a black XUV 5OO!!

I must again say for the XUV Mahindra has pulled out all plugs in ensuring the customer is the king and the dealers who are used to selling tractors and logans should not mess up with customer experience.

By this time i was only interacting with the Mahindra honchos and preferred not to deal with the dealer at all. I went all the way up to the Customer Care Head to reiterate my message that as a customer i reserve the right of where i register my car and from whom i buy the insurance!! Again fantastic response from Mahindra which completely overshadowed the flimsy experience with the dealership.
Good to know that Mahindra did their best to enhance your buying experience. They have really pulled their sleeves up as far as XUV is concerned

So the D-day came and instead of the usual showroom delivery i had to take it from the stockyard as mine was temp registration ( it was just an excuse but i didnt care ).
I dont think that was an excuse. I have worked in this industry. Temp registration cars are always delivered from the stockyard as they cant be driven inside city limits without reg number.

Even though the car was delivered to me in a washed condition and reasonably spic and span i decided Mahidnra ought to give me a nice polished one so called up Mahindra and told them I need to get it done and as usual Mahindra said yes - please get it to the dealer workshop :). I immediately drove down to the dealer workshop and got a nice cleaning and paint care job done. At this point i felt Mahindra is leaving no stone unturned to ensure its XUV customer happy. Really Kudos to them - i am planning to ask them for a free gift - may be one of their moto gp bikes ehh :P. cause so far they told me a yes for everything and rightly so i think!! They also updated the navigation and ECU.
That was really really good on their part to do that.

Also to add some niggles which i mentioned in general XUV 5OO thread :-

3) Perimetric alarms have gone off on itself 3-4 times but stops on its own - again need to keep an eye if there is a particular trend when this happens.
what did you mean by Perimetric alarms?
 
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re: Mahindra XUV5OO: "The Dark Knight" Buying and Initial Ownership Experience

Congratulations for the new purchase.

XUV is looking good in black.


Congrats Iron Rock on your XUV500 buy, certainly black is its best colour, enjoy your ride for many more years to come.And post some pics ASAP.
Hey Xover, you scored a point here.

You were quick and beat your buddy (after fighting a lot with him and taking beatings also [lol]) and became the first one to congratulate a new XUV owner - faster than the real XUV fan.
 
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raj_5004

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re: Mahindra XUV5OO: "The Dark Knight" Buying and Initial Ownership Experience

Hey Xover, you scored a point here.

You were quick and beat your buddy (after fighting a lot with him and taking beatings also [lol]) and became the first one to congratulate a new XUV owner - faster than the real XUV fan.
[lol]
by the way, I am a Scorpio fan, not an XUV fan!
 
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re: Mahindra XUV5OO: "The Dark Knight" Buying and Initial Ownership Experience

Hey Iron, Congratulations on the Black Beauty buddy! Enjoy and have fun!

Can you post some more pictures especially the interiors and some pictures during Night with lights. Need to check the blackbeauty more closely ;-).

Congrats again and have fun-Save Driving though!
 
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Re: XUV 5OO Buying and Initial Ownership Experience

what did you mean by Perimetric alarms?
Its basically the factory equipped security and immobiliser system. Its meant to work on internal motions and external tampering around the perimetry of the vehicle..
 
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re: Mahindra XUV5OO: "The Dark Knight" Buying and Initial Ownership Experience

Sorry Raj i couldnt use the multi quote properly in the above reply but hope it answers ur questions[frustration]

My list of accessories ordered :-

1) Rain Visors
2) Door Handle Chrome
3) Fog Lamp Chrome
4) Front Show grill
5) Head Light Bezel
6) Mirror Cover
7) Tail lamp chrome
8) Lift gate handle chrome
9)IP chrome
10) Body side Moulding
11) Roof Carrier

All of the above added to some 29K

Total Costs :-

Ex Show :- 11.87
Insurance :- 12k (comprehensive, i had NCB which i transferred from another vehicle, dealer was asking some 48k)
Octroi - Nil ( outside octroi limits [evil], in pune it comes to some 47/48k)
registration :- 95K ( dealer was asking 1.12L)
accessories :- 29k

Overall savings from Dealer listed price considering octroi/registration and insurance :- 1.03 lakhs[:D]
 
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re: Mahindra XUV5OO: "The Dark Knight" Buying and Initial Ownership Experience

Hey Xover, you scored a point here. You were quick and beat your buddy (after fighting a lot with him and taking beatings also) and became the first one to congratulate a new XUV owner - faster than the real XUV fan.
[lol]Thanks dear autosafari, yes THE X-OVER always brings it faster than you think [;)]
 

Vishwas

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re: Mahindra XUV5OO: "The Dark Knight" Buying and Initial Ownership Experience

Well well a nice thread and first Xuv review on TAI,congrats for the purchase Iron rock and Black Cheetah is good looking in that picture giving an Aggressive stance and ready to take orders from captain.Congrats anyway
 
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re: Mahindra XUV5OO: "The Dark Knight" Buying and Initial Ownership Experience

Thanks folks, some more pics, i dont have interior pics, i will do tht post this weekend [cheers]
 

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re: Mahindra XUV5OO: "The Dark Knight" Buying and Initial Ownership Experience

Congrats man.

One helluva buy there.
 
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